Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

At about 4:53 pm CST, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the country of Haiti, followed by several stiff aftershocks. The quake was centered quite close to the capitol city, Port-au-Prince. Haiti is in the Caribbean on the west side of the island of Hispanola. The country is very poor, and the infrastructure strength is questionable. There have been issues of corruption in inspecting buildings in Haiti. Most electricity and communication is down as well, so news is sporadic, plus it is after dark when the quake struck. There could be quite a loss of life in Haiti.

The Church of the Nazarene has a good number of congregations in Haiti, and their news service has a short report. They happened to be in district meetings at the time, with many of the country's Nazarene pastors gathered together. It's not a lot of information, but it's from folks with their boots on the ground.

A major earthquake measuring over 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale hit Haiti Tuesday evening at 5:53 Eastern Standard Time. The initial quake lasted about a minute, followed by strong 5.9 and 5.5 aftershocks. The epicenter of Haiti's earthquake was six miles west of Carrefour, just outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

The Church of the Nazarene in Haiti has been holding district assemblies for its 11 districts this week. General Superintendent J.K. Warrick flew into Haiti Tuesday afternoon for those assemblies. Communication with personnel in Haiti has been difficult due to phone lines being down, but Warrick was able to get a text message out from the Nazarene Seminary campus in Petion-ville, outside of Port-au-Prince, to say he and other church leaders on campus are safe.

What is not known is the full extent of loss of life or property damage beyond the campus walls. Bill Dawson, French Field Strategy coordinator, Emailed the Caribbean Communications Office to say the situation "is grave and urgent."

"There are many injured all over the city," said Dawson. "Major buildings, three and four stories, are down. ... Neighbors who work for the United Nations report many injured, people carrying wounded through the streets."

Here is a link to an AP story about the quake. They report that a hospital collapsed, among the many buildings that fell down. Some witnesses reported a cloud of dust over the city from the buildings falling down. There are other news reports, but info is still quite sketchy.

If you are inclined to prayer, remember the people of Haiti. No doubt there will be calls for financial aid. Only give to churches or charities you trust, that will use your money well. There will be great need.

Here is a first hand report from someone on the ground, from Fox News.


Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
This is a very informative article, about what I was going to put together. i'll be sending people over to you--

Ann T.

the observer said...

Ann T.

Thank you so much! And back to you today, January 14th. I like the perspective you bring, and you have taken some time to research the recent history of Haiti's political life.

The Observer